Most small businesses close down within their first five years, and yet our economy gets 60 percent of employment from small businesses. This week’s Trending on Thursday has advice to ensure the longevity of your #smallbiz, as well as tips for young entrepreneurs from Mark Cuban, business lessons from the finale of Downton Abbey, and some apps that will supercharge your productivity.

Check out all the latest #smallbiz news below and tell us your strategy for keeping your small business thriving.

  1. TrendingMarch10(1)One of the most famous entrepreneurs of all time, Mark Cuban, wrote a blog post in June 2009 — also included in his book “How to Win at the Sport of Business” — that was meant to inspire young people trying to establish their careers in a world that had been ravaged by the economic crisis. The economy has significantly improved since then, but the lessons Cuban drew from his own experiences are just as valid. Richard Feloni summarized those lessons in this Business Insider article, which includes the power of living cheaply, taking chances when appropriate and convincing people of your worth through action, not talk.
  1. Small businesses play a very vital role in the economy of a nation. No economy can grow without them. In fact, statistics show that small businesses are responsible for approximately 60 percent of employment in the United States. But another startling statistic shows that most businesses close down within the first five years. Shocking, but completely preventable. Many entrepreneurs sabotage the future of their businesses without even knowing. Toby Nwazor at the Huffington Post has listed five things that small business owners are doing that result in sabotaging their own business.
  1. TrendingMarch10(2)The most popular PBS show ever, Downton Abbey, ended its six-year run on Sunday and left many viewers with forlorn hearts. Erika Dickstein at Business2Community was right there with us, and also surprised by how many business lessons the episode contained if you looked just below the surface. Among those lessons is “knowing that the truth will come out, so own the message,” meaning that it is often tempting to brush bad news under the table, but somehow it always comes out and the blowback is even worse than it would have been with upfront honesty. Also, Dickstein says, “there are many ways to skin a cat,” meaning you should always be expanding your focus and opportunities.
  1. Janice Celeste at Huffington Post recently interviewed Daymond John, from the hit television show, Shark Tank, and Keri Gohman, Head of Small Business Banking at Capital One, about business trends for 2016. There are several opportunities that stand out this year for entrepreneurs to capitalize and grow their businesses. According to John and Gohman, the trends that business owners should be aware of include the digital divide (if you understand how to play the digital marketing game, then it will be easier to win) and the increasing importance of small business apps.
  1. Speaking of apps, have you heard of Workflow, Genius Scan or Boomerang? When you’re constantly multitasking and putting in long days (and who isn’t?) the right apps can be a lifesaver. Once you hit on the combination that works for you, your personal and professional lives run more effectively. Suddenly you’re less stressed and more productive. If this sounds appealing to you, check out Lolly Daskal’s list on Inc. of 75 apps that will save you time as a business professional.

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